Marvel's "Iron Man 3" pits brash-but-brilliant industrialist Tony Stark/Iron Man against an enemy whose reach knows no bounds - The Mandarin. When Stark finds his personal world destroyed at his enemy's hands, he embarks on a harrowing quest to find those responsible. What he discovers may give him new strength... or break him forever.
The Mandarin. Having never read the comic books, I had no idea who the Mandarin was, but the entire idea that it revolved around- within the film -was intriguing. The plausibility of creating an enigma that claims responsibility for terrorist attacks, who is in reality nothing but a puppet to higher forces, was a scary thought. The idea that such a method could occur in real life, and in fact could have already occurred. Are the dictators and leaders that are taken down, truly the enemy?
But back to the movie...the one thing that has annoyed me throughout the Iron Man franchise to-date, is Pepper Potts. Beyond her taking control of the company to allow Stark free reign with his gadgets, I dislike her character immensely and feel that she contributes nothing to the storyline.
As is becoming standard in sequels, a horrific event robs Stark of his super awesome battle suits, and he is left with one damaged, buggy, and dead set of armour to save the world from all out war. It is refreshing to have a chance to see Stark outside of the suit in hostile environments, and find him still capable of adapting to the situation. The situation quickly accelerates however, with the addition of multiple healing fire enemies, which Stark attempts to take down with his army of autonomous armour suits.
At this point, you start to question how much of this film was NOT created on a computer. Whilst graphically impressive, the CGI got carried away, and again ruined what was supposed to be a final climactic battle. Whether Iron Man has no stamina? I don't know, but none of the final battles have lived up to the expectations.
Beautiful imagery, and the plot started off so well. A great watch, but ultimately it fell short of my expectations.
I am sorry to say this movie was quite the "WTH?!" movie for me. For a start, what they did to the character of The Mandarin was interesting, and all too plausible by today's standards, but was so radically different to the canonical storyline that it just made no sense what so ever. But, in fairness, if this is a modern retelling of Iron Man, and is free from alien technology (despite the whole Avengers tie-in), supernatural abilities, and such things, then it was a passable movie and as such still scores fairly well.
The special effects - brilliant as expected. Especially the EXTREMIS effects - very clever and somewhat similar to the flesh-regeneration effects from "Ghost Rider" - and the articulation of the various Iron Man suits when under auto-pilot. However, no movie should be utterly reliant on the special effects and CGI to carry a weak or confusing plot and still expect a box-office hit - even if that happy situation somehow manifests itself due to the gullibility or misleading of the intended audience. And that is where this movie does fall over a bit.
The plot is a mess, plain and simple. It has a well-rounded and happy ending that suddenly materialises out of an utter bomb-site of an anxiety attack by Tony Stark. "Oh no, my world is falling apart around me, I can't cope, I will freak out... then suddenly I fell so much better and stronger and don't need my crutches any more!" Ummm... yeah, there you go, sorry, there's the basic "Tony Stark" subplot in one sentence. And you know what... from about 10 minutes into the movie, that stops being a "spoiler".
What I did like though was Tony's new "remote control" system - full of glitches, but providing some great "sympathy-pains" laughs for the men. It also provided some interesting "Oh Dear GAWD!" moments - one in particular. It makes one thoughtful about the increasingly blurred lines between us and the technology we employ daily. Just how invasive IS technology going to get?
Overall, a stunning cast, with the big surprise being how well "Priscilla, Queen of the Desert" annoyance-character Guy Pearce ended up playing such a deep and multi-faceted character as Aldrich Killian. The many plot-twists surround this character are quite predictable, but they don't help or harm the movie much so you may as well just sit back and "glom on to the visuals" while a borderline-psychotic Tony Stark takes you on a wild and violent ride through his little piece of private insomniac hell, oh, and let's you eavedrop on his efforts to save the world by remote control.
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